The HTC One M9 is beautiful, powerful and (whisper it) just a little bit disappointing. With a downgraded battery, a middling camera and an overly familiar design and feature set it couldn't continue HTC's run of five star reviews.
So it's clear that HTC needs to do some soul-searching before it launches the One M10 and work out how to come back with a bang.
But we're feeling generous, so we've come up with a few suggestions of our own to help the Taiwanese company get started, as well as highlighting the few rumors we're already hearing about the HTC One M10.
News and rumors
There's almost nothing to go on so far, leaving the HTC One M10 a thing of mystery. We can't even be certain that it's coming. Sure, HTC will undoubtedly launch a new flagship in 2016, but whether it will be called the M10, or have much in common with the M9 is anyone's guess right now.
In fact it might well be quite a different phone, as HTC's CEO revealed that the company plans to make significant improvements to the innovation and design of its 2016 flagship.
It's unclear what form that innovation will take, but one rumor we've heard is that the HTC One M10 will support wireless charging. That's not hugely surprising as wireless charging is growing in popularity, but it's a feature which the One M9 doesn't have.
It's also a feature which could prove a challenge to incorporate without a change to the design, as metal cases don't tend to work well for it. Does that mean the HTC One M10 will have a whole new look? It's too early to say, but it's possible and as beautiful as the One M9 is we wouldn't complain, as it's due a makeover.
However it looks it's bound to be more powerful, perhaps sporting a Snapdragon 820 processor, as that's likely to be a major player next year. It could also be in for a screen upgrade. Many flagships are moving to QHD displays, including the HTC One M9+, while the upcoming HTC Aero is rumored to have a QHD screen too, so there's a good change the HTC One M10 will.
Following the mixed reaction to the M9's camera we'd also expect changes there. The HTC Aero will supposedly have an f/1.9 aperture for improved low-light shots and the ability to save pictures in RAW format, so those are two things we might see for a start.
What we want to see
1. Better battery life
Sadly the M9's battery is a step down from the HTC One M8's, though it's not clear why, as the power pack is actually bigger, the screen is the same and while the processor is faster it's meant to be efficient.
Whatever the reason though it just doesn't cut it so it's absolutely essential that this is improved for the HTC One M10. We want to comfortably get at least two days of life from our phones and in this day and age that shouldn't be unreasonable.
While we're on, QuickCharge 2.0 is nice, but it would be even nicer if next year HTC put a QuickCharge enabled charger in the box.
2. A superior camera
For all its attempts HTC failed to entirely convince people that UltraPixels are the way forward in smartphone photography, finally admitting defeat and ditching them from the rear camera in the One M9.
But that may have been a mistake, especially as they were replaced with an unexceptional 20MP Sony lens.
A better option might have been a middle ground, upping the megapixel count from 4 to 8, but continuing to use larger UltraPixels. That way it could have stayed speedy and adept in low light, while packing in more detail than the M8's camera.
Hopefully HTC will consider that for the HTC One M10, but it needs to do something, because the M9's snapper trails way behind the Samsung Galaxy S6's and the LG G4's.
3. A new design
This one might be controversial, as the One M9 is one of the best looking phones around. The problem is we can't really see where HTC can go next with it. The company has spent the last few years perfecting its design and with the M9 it's arguably achieved that.
So next year we'll either get basically the same thing again, which would be safe but boring, or we'll get something new and different.
We have faith that HTC didn't just get lucky with the HTC One and that it can impress us all over again with a new design, so we hope that in the HTC One M10 we'll see one.
4. A fingerprint scanner
Until recently only Apple had managed to make a decent smartphone fingerprint scanner, but now Samsung has too with the Galaxy S6 so it's about time HTC jumped on board if it doesn't want to be left behind.
The company is clearly interested in the technology, putting scanners on variants like the HTC One M9 Plus and the HTC One Max, but we want to see one on the HTC One M10. Only if it's good though, a half-baked fingerprint scanner is worse than no fingerprint scanner.
5. A 1080p screen
The HTC One M9 has a 1080 x 1920 screen. As does the HTC One M8, as does the original HTC One. So you might think it's due an upgrade, especially as the Samsung Galaxy S6 and LG G4 both have QHD displays.
But at 5.0 inches (which by the way is an ideal size in our humble opinion) the benefits of a QHD screen are negligible while the hit on battery life could be substantial.
If HTC can somehow make a QHD screen that's just as light on the battery as a 1080p one then go for it, but if not we hope the company sticks with 1080p in the M10, rather than bowing to pressure from the competition.
If HTC continues to go heavy on the metal then making the One M10 waterproof might be a challenge, but we'd love to see it happen (along with dust proofing). It's a handy feature to have not so much because you're likely to actually want to take the phone swimming but just for the peace of mind it gives you.
It could also help HTC steal some Samsung fans, given that the Galaxy S6 ditched both water resistance and a microSD card slot. The One M9 already supports microSD cards, so keep that and add water resistance to the M10 and it's got some serious selling points.
7. Better BoomSound
The One M9 already has some of the best speakers around but there's always room for improvement. The dual front-facing BoomSound speakers are one of the standout features of HTC's phones and to keep standing out they need to keep getting better.
So we hope the HTC One M10 delivers even louder, richer sound through its built in cans than the M9 does.
8. More revolution than evolution
The HTC One M9 didn't feel like a huge improvement over the HTC One M8. It had a refined design, upgraded hardware and a new camera sure, but it largely looked and felt like the same phone and was distinctly lacking in killer new features.
HTC can't afford to do that again with the HTC One M10. We want new, we want different and we want to be excited, just like we were when the original HTC One was unveiled.
9. A redesigned power button
If HTC doesn't redesign the whole phone we hope it will at least redesign the power button on the HTC One M10.
On the M9 it's on the right edge next to the volume buttons, which makes it easy to reach, but it's also roughly the same size and shape as the volume buttons, making it easy to hit the wrong thing if you're not looking.
It's a small issue, but one which you'll be dealing with a lot, so we hope it's fixed for the HTC One M10.
10. More storage
The HTC One M9 comes in one size and one size only: 32GB. If you're going to launch a phone in just one storage size that's probably the one to choose, as it's a balance between the prohibitively small 16GB and the likely-expensive 64GB, but it would be nice to have the option for more built in storage.
There is a microSD card slot, but storing things on memory cards can negatively impact performance, so just having more storage built in might be a preferable option.